Amtrak Expansion Plan

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Re: Amtrak Expansion Plan

Postby bostontrainguy » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:27 pm

bdawe wrote:Let's put emphasis on the word modern

Modern intercity passenger service of that sort of distance is going to a be a train that goes fast enough that it doesn't substantially resemble the Broadway Limited


You want a fast modern "Broadway Limited"?

Try New York to Buffalo on the upgraded Empire Corridor at 110/125 mph. Non-stop through Canada between Buffalo and Detroit. Detroit to Chicago on the upgraded Wolverine Route at 110 mph.

Fast running almost all the way and no freight congestion south of Lake Erie.

A modern high-speed overnight 21st Century Limited is born.
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Re: Amtrak Expansion Plan

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:48 pm

Mr. Norman: I don't want Amtrak back into the freight business as a primary provider, no. There's no future in trying to steal Class I's business on their own rails. What might work is a limited agreement with a single company (for instance, CSX) to provide haulage for a certain product in a certain train that happens to travel the same route (for instance, a cut of 15-20 Tropicana boxcars on the Silver Meteor.)

Regarding the Broadway, 18 hours in an Amfleet (as Matt Johnson says in another thread) is as much as one would ever want, but in a pinch such a schedule could be... possible:

Code: Select all
   BROADWAY LIMITED
    West     East
    (down)   (up)
    550a NYP 1220a
arr 712a PHL 1055p dep
dep 742a PHL 1029p arr
    926a HAR  935p
    259p PGH  400p
    553p CLE 1159a
    808p TOL  958a
   1051p SOB  708a
  (Eastern/Central)   
   1145p CHI  440a
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Re: Amtrak Expansion Plan

Postby bdawe » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:18 pm

With regards to hauling the juice train, would such a long train foul the interlockings at Washington, Philadelphia, or elsewhere?
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Re: Amtrak Expansion Plan

Postby sullysullinburg » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:25 pm

Depends how long the train is but, most likely it would be an annoying work around at best.
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Re: Amtrak Expansion Plan

Postby Philly Amtrak Fan » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:29 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Mr. Norman: I don't want Amtrak back into the freight business as a primary provider, no. There's no future in trying to steal Class I's business on their own rails. What might work is a limited agreement with a single company (for instance, CSX) to provide haulage for a certain product in a certain train that happens to travel the same route (for instance, a cut of 15-20 Tropicana boxcars on the Silver Meteor.)

Regarding the Broadway, 18 hours in an Amfleet (as Matt Johnson says in another thread) is as much as one would ever want, but in a pinch such a schedule could be... possible:

Code: Select all
   BROADWAY LIMITED
    West     East
    (down)   (up)
    550a NYP 1220a
arr 712a PHL 1055p dep
dep 742a PHL 1029p arr
    926a HAR  935p
    259p PGH  400p
    553p CLE 1159a
    808p TOL  958a
   1051p SOB  708a
  (Eastern/Central)   
   1145p CHI  440a


Looks almost similar to the old Pennsylvanian which means you'd have to give up your entire day to ride the train between NYP/PHL and CHI. Does any train even leave CUS at 4:40am in the morning and would you want to be there at that time? Would you want to arrive into New York from out of town after midnight or into Chicago from out of town just before midnight? Would you really want to spend all day trapped on a train? To me, a useless schedule when it can be scheduled to have some part of it overnight just like the LSL & CL. It doesn't have to have the same portion overnight. To me if you ran a BL on top of the Pennsylvanian, run the portion between PHL and PGH overnight so you can have day service between PGH and CHI.
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Re: Amtrak Expansion Plan

Postby bostontrainguy » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:43 pm

bdawe wrote:With regards to hauling the juice train, would such a long train foul the interlockings at Washington, Philadelphia, or elsewhere?


It's not that long anymore. I have seen short sets of 5 - 10 cars in manifest freights heading north though Wildwood, FL.
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Re: Amtrak Expansion Plan

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:17 am

bostontrainguy wrote:
bdawe wrote:With regards to hauling the juice train, would such a long train foul the interlockings at Washington, Philadelphia, or elsewhere?


It's not that long anymore. I have seen short sets of 5 - 10 cars in manifest freights heading north though Wildwood, FL.

Likewise in Alexandria, VA.

Philly Amtrak Fan wrote:Looks almost similar to the old Pennsylvanian which means you'd have to give up your entire day to ride the train between NYP/PHL and CHI. Does any train even leave CUS at 4:40am in the morning and would you want to be there at that time? Would you want to arrive into New York from out of town after midnight or into Chicago from out of town just before midnight? Would you really want to spend all day trapped on a train? To me, a useless schedule when it can be scheduled to have some part of it overnight just like the LSL & CL. It doesn't have to have the same portion overnight. To me if you ran a BL on top of the Pennsylvanian, run the portion between PHL and PGH overnight so you can have day service between PGH and CHI.

It’s a thought exercise on how to serve the entire Broadway Limited route a) for the middle markets and b) without offering sleeper accommodations. That said, it really needs to take under sixteen hours for it to be practical as an all-daylight train, not 18-19 hours. (For that matter, the faster all of Amtrak’s trains, the more equipment they free up for new service like a daily Cardinal, a single-level Capital Limited with through cars for the Pennsylvanian, and a Broadway. Can’t wait for the eastern Midwest states to get cracking on the old PRR mainline as a 90/110 mph passenger route.)
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Re: Amtrak Expansion Plan

Postby electricron » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:29 am

mtuandrew wrote: Can’t wait for the eastern Midwest states to get cracking on the old PRR mainline as a 90/110 mph passenger route.)

Has anyone performed a detailed study on what it would take and how much it would cost to upgrade the entire old PRR mainline to 90/110/125 mph? If they have, can someone post a link to it?
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Re: Amtrak Expansion Plan

Postby nova08 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:36 am

The Juice cars typically number no more than 25 and as pointed out there are typically fewer. That said, despite their priority, I'm pretty sure CSX still has some delays getting them north and south. The scheduling logistics for Amtrak seems to be far more cumbersome than any benefit.

Not that this is a big expansion but is there any demand for a Harrisburg-Philadelphia-DC Keystone? It is a roundabout route but think there might be demand for a handful of trains.
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Re: Amtrak Expansion Plan

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:36 pm

bostontrainguy wrote:
bdawe wrote:With regards to hauling the juice train, would such a long train foul the interlockings at Washington, Philadelphia, or elsewhere?


It's not that long anymore. I have seen short sets of 5 - 10 cars in manifest freights heading north though Wildwood, FL.

It's been pretty well established in another forum that freight and passengers have different origins and destinations; at some point you have to stop the passenger train to add--and later drop--freight cars, raising issues of (main-?) track occupancy and delay to passengers during the necessary and time-consuming switching movements and air tests. Track speeds in excess of 100 mph are wasted if the time saved is frittered away standing still in some freight yard. (And how many freight cars can operate at speeds commercially marketable for passenger trains?)
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Re: Amtrak Expansion Plan

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:20 pm

electricron wrote:
mtuandrew wrote: Can’t wait for the eastern Midwest states to get cracking on the old PRR mainline as a 90/110 mph passenger route.)

Has anyone performed a detailed study on what it would take and how much it would cost to upgrade the entire old PRR mainline to 90/110/125 mph? If they have, can someone post a link to it?

I haven’t located numbers yet, but check here: http://www.midwesthsr.org/studies

Not sure why I forgot about the maximum freight speeds - 79 mph may be the maximum for most cars without special trucks and couplers. Forget I suggested freight on the NEC as part of scheduled passenger trains!
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Re: Amtrak Expansion Plan

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:44 pm

The PRR used to do 79 (and higher if running late westbound) through Warsaw, IN on what might almost be described as a front-yard right-of-way, with a fairly narrow two-lane road on each side, very close to the tracks, and houses fronting on them. People were used to it back in the day, but in view of the length of time since that speed prevailed, I imagine some vociferous pushback could be expected from the townsfolk. I would say look for a permanent speed restriction through Warsaw.
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Re: Amtrak Expansion Plan

Postby electricron » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:15 pm

Maximum speed of freight cars vary with track classification, and their weight.
This link provides information about track classification well.
http://trn.trains.com/railroads/abcs-of ... ifications
This link provides better information about freight cars limitations.
http://www.alternatewars.com/BBOW/Railr ... lasses.htm
I doubt few freight cars used for transporting orange juice are qualified for high speeds.
The only freight cars I’m aware of capable of NEC passenger train speeds are Amtrak’s baggage cars.
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Re: Amtrak Expansion Plan

Postby Philly Amtrak Fan » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:30 pm

bostontrainguy wrote:
bdawe wrote:Let's put emphasis on the word modern

Modern intercity passenger service of that sort of distance is going to a be a train that goes fast enough that it doesn't substantially resemble the Broadway Limited


You want a fast modern "Broadway Limited"?

Try New York to Buffalo on the upgraded Empire Corridor at 110/125 mph. Non-stop through Canada between Buffalo and Detroit. Detroit to Chicago on the upgraded Wolverine Route at 110 mph.

Fast running almost all the way and no freight congestion south of Lake Erie.

A modern high-speed overnight 21st Century Limited is born.


Unless that makes a detour through Philly, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh it won't help us down here much (although I in Philly would just take NJT from Trenton up to Penn Station to a faster 21st Century to get to Chicago, the closer you are to Chicago the more it makes sense to do the same). I will say any progress is still better than the current state of affairs (with the exception of more Byrd Crap which only helps the likes of White Sulphur Springs, WV).
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Re: Amtrak Expansion Plan

Postby Alex M » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:57 pm

Correct me if I am wrong, but was there a PRIAA recommendation that the Southwest Chief have a car or two to carry palletized shipments? With ecommerce being the big thing, One would think that a M&E service on the NEC would be tailor made for some of this business. Use a Regional that operates on a local schedule to function as such a train like what was done in the '80s. Maybe you could set aside a coach or two to sell low priced tickets aimed at the cut rate bus competition
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